What is LASEK?

LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) is an alternative to LASIK eye surgery that is usually performed on patients whose corneas are too thin for LASIK. The LASEK procedure preserves the thin top layer of your cornea (called the “epithelium”) by removing it from the surface of your eye before applying the laser vision correction. Once the correction has been applied, the epithelium is replaced.

For more information about your laser vision correction options, please call Northeastern Eye Institute at 800-334-2233 today. Our eye doctors and staff serve patients throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA), including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and other communities, from 15 convenient locations


LASIK, LASEK, and PRK are all very similar vision correction procedures. In order to better understand what makes each one unique, it helps to see their fundamental differences side by side.

  • In LASIK, a flap is created in your cornea to allow the laser energy to be applied directly to the inner layer of your eye. The flap is then replaced and serves as a kind of natural bandage, allowing for fast healing.
  • LASEK also uses a corneal flap, but one that is much thinner than LASIK’s and only involves the epithelium (topmost layer).
  • In PRK, no flap is created at all. Instead, the laser energy is applied directly to your eye’s surface. The epithelium is completely removed during by the laser during this process, and eventually grows back on its own.

If your corneas are too thin or too steep for LASIK, our experienced eye surgeons can determine if LASEK or PRK would be a good alternative procedure for you. LASEK can provide you with the same great results as LASIK, but it does require a longer healing period. Many people who are not candidates for LASIK choose the Visian ICL for vision correction instead.

LASEK Recovery

Recovering from LASEK is slower than LASIK recovery. Although the flap will heal in about a day, your eyes may feel irritated for a few days afterward, and it can often take up to a week before you see your final results. However, every patient heals differently, and studies have shown that LASEK is associated with quicker recovery of nerve function and sensation on the surface of your eye compared to LASIK. It may also result in less issues with dry eye syndrome.

If you have been told that you’re not a good candidate for LASIK, there are still several ways you can achieve excellent vision without dependence on glasses or contact lenses. The best way to find out if LASEK or another alternative is right for you is to come in for a personal consultation.

Schedule a consultation

Please contact Northeastern Eye Institute online or call us at our primary office in Scranton at (570) 342-3145 or toll-free at 800-334-2233 today to discuss your vision correction options in greater detail. Dr. Chris Jordan and Dr. Tom Boland, both Board Certified ophthalmologists and refractive surgeons, perform LASIK, LASEK and PRK. We serve patients in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and throughout NEPA.